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February 28, 2012

NFL Combine news roundup

There may not have been too many players representing the Maize And Blue at this year's NFL Combine, but the three Wolverines who did make the trip - defensive tackle Mike Martin, center David Molk and wide receiver Junior Hemingway - impressed scouts at the event.

Here's a breakdown of how each of them performed.

Mike Martin

Height: 6-1
Weight: 306
Arm Length: 32 1/4
Hands: 9 1/8
40-Yard Dash: 4.88 seconds
Bench Press: 36 reps of 225 pounds (second among DL)
Vertical Jump: 33.5 inches (13th among DL)
Broad Jump: 113.0 inches
Three Cone Drill: 7.19 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.25 seconds (sixth among DL)

NFL.com Analysis

Strengths: "Martin has a good feel for offensive lines and block schemes and how to slant inside of lineman to get into the backfield. He is very strong against the run and can neutralize any blocker. He can hold up a block, and then shed to get to the ball. He plays with instincts and is strong."

Weaknesses: "Martin can struggle in space and is a stout player at the point, but he really doesn't have much production rushing the passer. Once in the backfield, he has a tough time running down the quarterback, and his athletic ability can be exposed in space."

NFL.com Grade: 59.7 -- projecting him in the 4th to the 7th round.


  • AnnArbor.com report Kyle Meinke caught up with Martin in Indianapolis. Despite the stress of the Combine - which included 4 a.m. drug tests and late-night interviews, Martin was pleased with how he performed.

    "The scrutiny and the pressure and everything that goes into the combine, and it all comes down to one day," Martin said. "It's all a mental grind, and the last day, physically, you just got to be on top of your game.

    "The feedback from coaches was very positive, and that's all I can really ask for. ... I did a really good job of boosting my draft stock today and put myself in a really good position going into the draft."

  • Detroit Free Press writer Chris McCosky writes about Martin's improvement under defensive coordinator Greg Mattison:

    "Mattison completely revamped his game.

    'He tore my game down to the bare bones and built it back up,' Martin said. 'I benefited huge from him.'

    "With Mattison's guidance and his own maniacal work ethic, Martin has transformed himself from a gap-conscious, read-and-react player to an explode-off-the-ball attacking defensive lineman NFL teams covet.

    "His challenge now is convincing NFL teams that he's tough enough to play nose tackle at 306 pounds, or that he has the quickness and athleticism to play tackle in a 4-3 system."

    Read the rest of the story here.

  • CBSSports.com has an in-depth analysis of Martin here:

    "He lacks a consistent anchor against double teams and just does not have the right frame to be an NFL starter. Because of his ability to penetrate against one-on-one blocks, Martin could be a solid rotation player in a 4-3 scheme as a three-technique tackle and move to the nose on passing downs." They rank him as the No. 10 defensive tackle in the Draft.

    David Molk

    Height: 6-1
    Weight: 298
    Arm Length: 32
    Hands: 8 7/8
    Bench Press: 41 reps at 225 pounds (first among OL)

    NFL.com Analysis

    Strengths: "Molk is quick off the line of scrimmage and gains an advantage on his man immediately. He is also quick to get out when pulling and can gather speed rather quickly to bury any linebacker in his site. He displays good footwork in nearly all of his movements and has a good pass set where he is able to quickly chop his feet and adjust to oncoming rushers."

    Weaknesses: "Molk can have trouble sustaining his blocks through the end of run plays. He often has to pull his man down with him to keep him out of the play and finds it difficult to generate enough push early to create a solid hole for his backs. He is reliable to not allow sacks in pass production but can get off balance when setting against bull rushes."

    NFL.com Grade: 59.2 -- projecting him in the 4th to the 7th round.


  • Meinke writes about Molk turning heads at the Combine. His 41 reps on bench were the most by a center since online records of Combine stats started to be posted in 2005.

    "I came off the bench, and I was pissed off," Molk said. "All the other guys were just like, 'Oh man that was incredible.' I was just like, '(to hell with) them, it was too easy. Shoulda got way more than that.'

    "Everyone thought I was crazy, but it's true because I was slipping around on the bench. I ended up sliding and sliding and sliding all over the place, which killed me, because the more stuck you are on the bench, you can do way more reps.

    "It's driving me nuts."

  • CBSSports.com has an in-depth analysis of Molk here:

    "Molk doesn't look like much, but he is very aggressive and plays bigger than he appears -- lacks elite physical tools, but you can't measure heart and desire. He has 42 career starts under his belt and worked through several different offensive systems in Ann Arbor -- battle tested and smart, seasoned veteran. Molk has poor base strength and won't be for everyone at the next level (scheme-specific), but he is quick, scrappy and competitive with pro intangibles and work ethic -- a third or early fourth round prospect who is ideally suited for a zone blocking scheme and does have NFL starting potential." They rank him as the No. 6 center in the Draft.

    Junior Hemingway

    Height: 6-1
    Weight: 225
    Arm Length: 32 1/2
    Hands: 9 5/8
    40-Yard Dash: 4.53 seconds
    Bench Press: 21 reps at 225 pounds (third among WR)
    Vertical Jump: 35.5 inches
    Broad Jump: 124.0 inches (eighth among WR)
    Three-Cone Drill: 6.59 seconds (first among WR)
    20-Yard Shuttle: 3.98 seconds (first among WR)
    60-Yard Shuttle: 11.16 seconds (second among WR)

    NFL.com Analysis

    Strengths: "Hemingway is a talented receiver who might have been hindered throughout his career by not playing with a natural quarterback in Denard Robinson. Playing with him, Hemingway has developed a good field awareness and will be as ready as any rookie to make plays that happen during broken-down opportunities when the quarterback is scrambling. He knows how to exploit defenses and find open holes in the zone, which he did a lot at Michigan. He is reliable to catch the ball in a crowd and is also a threat deep. A very good athlete when the ball is in the air."

    Weaknesses: "Hemingway is a slow mover off the line and can get jammed up at times. He is a decent route runner but hasn't run many pro-style routes while working in Michigan's offense. He is not a very quick-twitched player and lacks speed variance and explosion in his routes."

    NFL.com Grade: 59.5 -- projecting him in the 4th to the 7th round.


  • David Wetzel from Hemingway's hometown paper The Sun News wrote about the receiver's breakout Combine performance:

    "[Hemingway's agent Joe] Turner said Hemingway's accomplishments at Michigan combined with his combine results could lead him into the earlier rounds of the draft.

    'It's obviously still quite a long process. There's still more workouts, more interviews and [all]," said Turner, who noted that Hemingway has interviewed with roughly a dozen teams. "[But] the combine is very heralded and is an important step to see pure athleticism and skills. When you combine that with his production at Michigan … he is one of the premier receivers in this draft.

    '… There's no question he should be an early-round selection.'"

    Detroit Free Press writer Dave Birkett got Hemingway's take on Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson's future: wide receiver.

    "All I've seen Denard run is go routes," Hemingway said. "He'll come out, 'Hey, let me run a go. Let me run a go, man.' Like, 'Denard, run something else man. Everybody knows you're going deep.'

    "Denard can catch pretty good. He can catch a snap. He can catch low, high, so he's got to be able to catch something. But yeah, he's got pretty good hands."

  • Michigan NEWS


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